People who claim to be God are usually dismissed as nuts. People who claim to have spoken to God or have gotten a message from God (Abraham, Saint Paul, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, etc.) or claim they are related to God are maybe either psychotic, delusional or con men. A current example of a huckster is Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, the guy in Bill Maher's movie Religulous who says he's Jesus reincarnated. He's obviously a con man.
Buddha, on the other hand:
- never claimed to be God
- never claimed to be a relative of God
- never claimed to have spoken to God or received a message from God
The reason Buddhism is even classified as a religion is people tend to deify him. But he never claimed to be more than an ordinary man. He never claimed to have magic powers. (See Stephen Batchelor, a former monk and the author of Buddhism Without Beliefs.)
So, was Buddha the only founder of a major religion who wasn't psychotic, delusional or a con man?
What do you think?